NPR Music Shares 'Once' Composer's Next Big Thing

Last night the charming Irish folk-flavored "Once" scored multiple Tony Awards - including Best Musical. And today you can grab a free sneak peak of show composer Glen Hansard's latest album project. 

The auspicious timing comes courtesy of NPR Music, delivering Hansard's solo debut "Rhythm and Repose" as one of this week's "First Listen" streams. You can find it at an NPR Music app, at NPR.ORG/music or most directly right here.

Based on the semi-autobiographical  film also called "Once" in which Hansard played a struggling Dublin busker befriended and inspired by a tough nosed Czech pianist (played by Marketa Irglova), the film won the duo an Academy Award for best song (the melencholy "Fallling Slowly") and also sparked a touring/recording  version of the couple  as The Swell Season. And while he now seems to have given up on his prior, rocking group The Frames, Hansard recently scored a couple high profile, more vigorously uptempo contributions to "The Hunger Games" soundtrack.

On the "Rhythm and Repose," Hansard goes to his emotional extremes with vocal assists frm both Irglova and Cristin Miloti, the  Cherry Hill, N.J.-spawned actress who now plays "The Girl" (Irglova's part) in the stage show formally called "Once-The Musical." Miloti came thisclose to winning the Tony for best actress last night - the prize snatched instead by Broadway perennial Audra McDonald.

Hansard's solo set is formally released tomorrow on Anti-Records. He lands here Friday for a WXPN Free at Noon concert at World Cafe Live (listen at 88.5 FM) then for a full show Sept. 20 at Union Transfer.